Huge AF Mystery … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Huge AF Mystery ...

What’s Up?

I am somewhere in South America. I hope that you are well. Jim and Jen are at the office most days to help you with your mail order needs and Instructional Photo-Tour sign-ups. I still need folks for San Diego, Japan, Galapagos, the Palouse, and the Bear Boat (Grizzly Cubs) trips. Among others 🙂 Please e-mail for couples and discount info for all of the above. Click here for complete IPT info.

I will have intermittent internet access for the rest of my South American adventure. I get back home late on December 25, 2016. Best and great picture making, artie

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of the folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

The Streak: 384!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 384 days in a row with a new educational blog post. There should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. Or not… As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.japan” width=800 />


This image was created on the 2016 Japan in Winter IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 800! Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3. AWB.

61-point Automatic Selection AF/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF; see the DPP 4 screen capture below for active AF point info. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Red-crowned Crane juvenile charging

Image Comments and Question

Here I love the young crane, the action pose, the soft light, and the sharpness of the face. And I like that the brown tones of the young crane’s neck pick up the brown tones of the background vegetations.

What is the single negative? Careful Nellie, there is only one, at least to my eye.


The DPP 4 Screen Capture for today’s featured image

The DPP 4 Screen Capture

Note the crop, canvas added to the right, and the elimination of the extra crane.

The Huge AF Mystery …

This image is razor sharp on the eye. DPP 4 had AF points checked (Command J) under Preview. What is the big mystery?


Consider joining me in Japan in February, 2017, for the world’s best Japan in Winter workshop. Click on the card to enjoy the spectacular larger version.

Japan In Winter IPT. February 9-24, 2017: $11,499 (was $13,999)/double occupancy. Limit 8/Openings: 3.

Price Reduced $2,500 on 3-8-16!

All lodging including the Tokyo hotel on 9 FEB, all breakfasts & dinners, ground transport and transfers including bus to the monkey park hotel, and all entrance fees and in-country flights are included. Not included: international flights, all lunches–most are on the run, and alcoholic beverages.

Please e-mail for couple and IPT repeat customer discount information.

This trip is one day longer than the great 2014 trip to allow for more flexibility, more time with the cranes, and most importantly, more time for landscape photography. Hokkaido is gorgeous. You will enjoy tons of pre-trip planning and gear advice, in-the-field instruction and guidance, at-the-lodge Photoshop and image review sessions in addition to short introductory slide programs for each of the amazing locations. Skilled photographer Paul McKenzie handles the logistics and we enjoy the services of Japan’s best wildlife photography guide whom I affectionately call “Hokkaido Bear.” His network of local contacts and his knowledge of the weather, the area, and the birds is unparalleled and enables him to have us in the best location every day.


Amazing subjects. Beautiful settings. Nonstop action and unlimited opportunities. Join me.

The Logistics

Arrive Tokyo: 9 FEB 2017 the latest. 8 FEB is safer and gives you a day to get acclimated to the time change. Your hotel room for the night of the 9th is covered.

Bus Travel to Monkey Park Hotel: 10 FEB: A 1/2 DAY of monkey photography is likely depending on our travel time… This traditional hotel is first class all the way. Our stay includes three ten course Japanese dinners; these sumptuous meals will astound you and delight your taste buds. There are many traditional hot springs mineral baths (onsens) on site in this 150 year old hotel.

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 11.

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 12.

13 FEB: Full travel day to Hokkaido/arrive at our lodge in the late afternoon. The lodge is wonderful. All the rooms at the lodge have beds. Bring your warm pajamas. A local onsen (hot springs bath and tubs) is available for $5 each day before dinner–when you are cold, it is the best thing since sliced bread. The home-cooked Japanese styles meals at the lodge are to die for. What’s the best news? Only a small stand of woods separates us from the very best crane sanctuary. During one big snowstorm we were the only photo group to be able to get to Tsurui Ito; we had the whole place to ourselves in perfect conditions for crane photography!

FEB 14-23: Red-crowned Crane, raptors in flight, Whooper Swans, and scenic photography. Ural Owl possible. An overnight trip to Rausu for Steller’s Sea Eagle and White-tailed Eagle photography on the tourists boats is 100% dependent on the weather, road, and sea ice conditions. Only our trip offers complete flexibility in this area. It has saved us on more than once occasion. The cost of 2 eagle-boat trips is included. If the group would like to do more than two boat trips and we all agree, there will be an additional charge for the extra trip or trips. No matter the sea ice conditions, we will do two eagle boat trips (as long as we can make the drive to Rausu; it snows a lot up there). We have never been shut out.In 2016 there was no sea ice but our guide arranged for two amazingly productive boat trips.

Lodging notes: bring your long johns for sleeping in the lodge. At the Snow Monkey Park, and in Rausu, the hotel the rooms are Japanese-style. You sleep on comfortable mats on the floor. Wi-fi is available every day of the trip.

FEB 24. Fly back to Tokyo for transfer to your airport if you are flying home that night, or, to your hotel if you are overnighting. If you need to overnight, the cost of that room is on you.


Life is short. Hop on the merry-go-round.

To Sign Up

To save your spot, please send your $5,000 non-refundable deposit check made out to “Birds as Art” to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. I do hope that you can join me for this trip of a lifetime. Do e-mail with any questions or give me a buzz at 863-692-0906.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On two fairly recent Galapagos cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right 🙂

12 comments to Huge AF Mystery …

  • avatar PKUK

    The only negative to my eyes is the Crane’s right wing (to our left) intersecting with the buff part of the background, I find it draws my eye from the head. I think I’d prefer it if, like the other wing, it was on a fully white background.
    That’s being picky though, still wish I’d taken it.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Bingo for you! My thoughts exactly. Tanks for chiming in. The crossed feet do not bother me one iota 🙂

      later and love, artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I don’t see any negatives. I’d slightly prefer for the right leg not to overlap the left, and for the right foot to be visible, but this is nature photography, not studio art. I love the image. As for the background’s not being level, well, I assume it wasn’t level in real life. Yes, obviously no AF point is active, and so I assume you have the camera set to shoot even if focus has not been attained. In fact, I think you told us to do that while we were in South Georgia. I think the others’ explanation of what was going on with the AF is right.

  • avatar Jack D Waller

    For my taste I find the background to be overpowering and distracting along with the foot issue.

  • avatar David Peake

    The single negative could be the Cranes foot overlapping its right leg.
    No idea at all why af point is not displaying. Nice image otherwise.

  • avatar Ron Gates

    I understand everyone else’s comments but I’ll throw out another option: background doesn’t appear to be exactly level.

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    i agree with all of the above

  • avatar Frank Sheets

    Hi Artie,

    Sounds like you have having a ball in S. America.

    I agree. No active AF point shows up in DPP4. Why is that? As Geoff said, perhaps you momentarily took your finger off the BBF yet the bird had not moved enough to get out of focus. But that is probably unlikely. Hope you will reveal the answer to the mystery because I have experienced exactly the same thing and I end up scratching my head wondering why.


  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    Negative is the right foot in the snow and left overlapping so it takes the eye awhile to untangle what’s happening.
    Mystery–You say “see the DPP 4 screen capture below for active AF point info” but I can’t find any info. No red squares show. Did you have all AF points active and the 4 black parts of the wings plus head registered?

  • avatar Wayne Lea

    Only negative I see might be the left foot overlapping the right leg.

  • avatar Warren

    The mystery why does the screen shot not show which auto focus areas were active during the exposure.

  • avatar Geoff

    Well the mystery must be what the active AF point was as none is showing in DPP. Possibly you had let off the back-button for a split second as in that scenario DPP won’t show an active point. Still the shot turns out sharp because the bird probably hadn’t moved much from the split-second previous to lifting off the back button.

    TFS the image